5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Sharing Knowledge

The enterprising women featured in our latest crowdfunding column want to educate others through innovative texts, delicious dishes, chic hairstyles and more.

Annie Mapp By Annie Mapp

Whether it’s by way of books, plays, local foods or the art of styling hair, these five women hope to teach their customers something new — and have turned to crowdfunding for help to realize those dreams.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Teaching Through Comics (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Journalism teacher Katrina Baron wants to educate students on the ins and outs of news media through vivid illustrations paired with educational text. To that aim, she is currently working on “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism,”  a “comic-book style” textbook she hopes will help change how high school students learn and buck the trend of “dull” traditional texts. The finished book will cater to a diverse audience, Baron says, through drawn characters designed to reach young people of all backgrounds who are interested in media and civic engagement.
The Money
Funds generated by Baron’s campaign will allow her and her illustrator to take time off from their day jobs to focus on its completion and distribution. As of now, she needs just over $1,200 to reach her $17,000 goal, and she must do so within the next 3 days.

2. Lost — and Found — Audio (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Performance artist Alison Kobayashi’s most recent project was inspired by a mysterious audio recording of unknown origin that a collector found at an estate sale and shared with her. She spent hundreds of hours playing back the tape to hear what was being said. After decoding it, she realized she was listening in on the rich and colorful life of a Jewish family living in New York. Kobayashi used this recording to craft a one-woman show, “Say Something Bunny.” In the performance, Kobayashi will recreate events from the audio recording, with the help of video and illustrations. She calls it “a multigenerational yarn of Rothian heights,” in a nod to the Jewish culture elevated by her work.
The Money: Nine days remain, but Kobayashi’s campaign has already reached its $7,000 goal. The funds raised will help prepare a space in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City to host the live performance and to cover other fees associated with the production. Supporters of the campaign will be among the first audience members at the New York City public launch.

3. Coming Together Through Food (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Chef and food blogger Maria Victoria Bonnici has a dream of bringing people together to enjoy locally sourced food in a communal dining setting. She’s trying to turn that vision into a restaurant, which she calls La Bête Noire. Meal after meal, Bonnici has had the joy of watching people savor what she cooks in small, private settings. Now, she seeks to build a place where families, friends and visitors to Paris from around the world can gather together and enjoy her food.
The Money: 
Contributions to Bonnici’s campaign will help her purchase kitchen equipment and refurbish the dining area of her diningroom. She is still rather short of her roughly $17,000 goal, and has only 8 days left to her campaign. But because she has selected Indiegogo’s flexible funding option, she will receive some money regardless of whether she reaches her target amount.

4. The Power of a Literary Dream (via Kickstarter)

The BusinessCombining her love for books and passion for fostering diverse spaces and bringing minds together, Angela Marie Spring is working on opening Duende District Bookstore in Washington D.C. After occupying various roles in bookstores both large and small around the country, she realized the need for a bookstore run by people of color that serves as a welcoming space for everyone. To drive that point home, the business’ motto is “Todas Las Voces — All Voices.” Until Spring finds a forever home for the bookstore, she will display a small portion of her inventory of non-fiction books, poetry, graphic novels and more in a pop-up shop at a local art festival called Artomatic, which begins later this year.
The Money: 
In the next 20 days, Spring must reach her $9,000 goal. The funds from the campaign will help her cover expenses related to running the pop-up shop, including signs and postcards.

5. Hair Care on the Go (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Navy veteran and business student Tiffany Richardson became interested in the hair industry after she noticed that black women typically did not own the beauty supply stores she frequented. And she decided to jump into the industry herself after getting the idea for a mobile hair store, which she is calling Headz Up and plans to open in Hampton Roads, Va. But Richardson’s vision doesn’t stop there. She also wants to host social events with Headz Up to educate area women about maintaining healthy hair. In addition, she hopes to offer “DIY” hairstyling sessions for those interested in perfecting specific looks.
The Money: 
Richardson has one month left to reach her $10,000 goal. Those funds will help her purchase inventory, execute marketing strategies and purchase the truck itself. She also plans to donate a portion of her business profits to organizations that benefit homeless veterans.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at info@thestoryexchange.org.

Posted: April 20, 2017

Annie Mapp5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Sharing Knowledge